Celebrated my birthday at the beach with G and his family - just a peaceful and relaxed weekend, with lots of seafood and fresh fruit to enjoy!
Happy Easter everyone!
Healthy Shabu Shabu (Part 2)
After my first visit to Healthy Shabu Shabu with my colleagues, I knew I had to bring my family here the next time around. So last Sunday, we had an extremely hearty meal (to the point that I don’t think it was really healthy anymore) and ordered the Mixed Seafood Set and Beef Tenderloin Set. While the menu indicated that each set is good for 4 people, what we ordered was way more than enough for 8 people. Unless, that is, we are talking about 8 people who can really eat up a storm!
G and I had a very late brunch/lunch at IHOP today. They had these summer coolers given the scorching heat here in Manila the past few weeks - we went for the Mixed Berry Parfait which had scoops of creamy chocolate ice cream, large and juicy strawberries and blueberries in syrup, chewy cinnamon oatmeal balls, and yogurt. Delicious!
I know I’m way behind but I only got to try Project Pie’s pizzas today when I had an impromptu lunch with my mom and sister. We were quite hungry by the time we ordered so we went for their pre-set combinations - the Number 4 (sliced tomatoes, fresh chopped basil, mozzarella, parmesan, garlic), the Number 6 (grilled chicken, sliced red onion, cilantro, mozzarella, gorgonzola, BBQ sauce), and the Banana Nutella.
While taste-wise the pizzas tasted delicious and the crusts were warm and fresh from the oven, I thought they could have used more of the toppings. Especially the Banana Nutella where it would be nicer to have more slices of banana, plus, possibly, a large creamy scoop of vanilla ice cream!
I treated my family to lunch at 8 Cuts this weekend because I was curious to try their burgers. Apparently, this is owned by the same owners of BurgerBar (which I’ve written a review on last year). The look and feel of the place is almost the same, except 8 Cuts is more casual - you give your order at the counter and help yourself to the utensils, ketchup and mustard you need.
Basically, this chain is called 8 Cuts because of the 8 cuts of beef used - “chuck, rib eye, short rib, sirloin, brisket, hanger, flank and ox tail” used to make their burger patties.
Because we were so famished, we shared a serving of Loaded Tex-Mex Ground Beef Nachos which, true to its name, was loaded with cheese, peppers, sour cream, beans, and of course, ground beef!
Now, for the burgers. You get to choose out of 5 beef blends for your burger patty - House Blend (Short Rib + Rib Eye), Beef Bomb (Chuck + Short Rib), Steak Cut (Sirloin + Chuck), Big Game (Hanger + Brisket), and Ox Blend (Rib Eye + Flank + Ox Tail). All of us except G went for the House Blend, while G went for the Big Game.
My mom and sister each had the Rising Shroom (mushroom tempura, white truffle creamed cheese).
My other sister had the Four Cheese (parmesan, yellow cheddar, gruyere, mozarella).
G had the Hangover (fried egg, cheddar, prosciutto and aioli)
My brother had the Q-Daddy (onion tanglers, bacon, cheddar, spicy jalapeno ranch).
And I had The Boss Burger which is perfect for those who cannot make up their mind or who want to customize their own burger! While this comes with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and pickles, I’ve had them remove the raw onions and pickles (which I really don’t like) and replace them with yellow cheddar and caramelized onions.
The burgers were quite juicy and the flavors were unique. I liked the customization part a lot too, so will be definitely going back here again!
Shitamachi Japanese Chashu House
I apologize in advance as I am just too tired today to write a full review on this place, but I’ll let the photos do the talking. Basically, Shitamachi focuses on Chashu in a lot of its dishes like grilled chashu, breaded chashu (tonkatsu), and chashu on ramen. They do have other usual Japanese fare like gyoza, kani salad, and chicken teriyaki. The food was okay and prices are not as expensive as many other specialty Japanese restaurants. Oh, and they serve unlimited hot tea too, which was a plus for me.
Obviously still hungover from my Vietnam trip so I dragged my family to have dessert at Wildflour so I could order Vietnamese latte (yes, with condensed milk!) along with dessert. We shared a Salted Valrhona Chocolate Cake, Crème brûlée and Apple Pie with our coffee.
Enjoying a nice warm bowl of pho in no better place but Vietnam. Stay tuned for more photos of my adventures here in Hanoi!
Nothing like starting your weekend with warm taho (soft silken tofu, sugar syrup and sago pearls) in a fancy glass.
Happy weekend everyone!
If this photo looks really familiar to some of you, it’s because CaliBurger is a burger chain adapted from the In-N-Out burger concept from the US and was brought to Asia. CaliBurger has stores in China and Hong Kong, and recently opened its first branch in Manila, which G and I visited at the Century City Mall.
The interiors were more colorful, with orange, turquoise, and purple tables and chairs, though a lot of things look pretty similar to In-N-Out stores, like the menu! The burgers are a little pricey compared to other burgers from other places in Manila though.
Here’s a photo I took of our In-N-Out meal (Cheeseburger for me and Double Double for G) when we spent our first spring break in California a couple of years ago as students, and another photo of the exact same meal (Cheeseburger for me and Cali Double for G) we had at CaliBurger.
I admit that I cannot clearly remember how good an In-N-Out burger tastes like, but I think that the CaliBurger is a pretty good substitute. The burgers were flavorful (though not as juicy as I expected they would be) and the buns were soft and fresh. What I liked about CaliBurger was that they let you choose whether you want your onions raw or grilled, and I loved how their onions had a nice caramelized sweetness. CaliBurger’s fries were also fried to a golden crisp and were only lightly salted (which I liked).
I guess if you want a taste of the West Coast every now and then, saving up a couple of bucks for a CaliBurger would do just fine!
I was in Cebu for a couple of days last week and during one of our lunches we had Mexican food at Mooon Cafe (IT Park, Cebu City).
Really loved the bright colors of this place!
The summer air in Cebu has become really hot and dry, so we ordered a Sun Cooler (thank you rubberbend!) which tasted like a combination of orange and mango juices with cubes of orange and watermelon. Really refreshing and addicting!
My colleagues ordered some Gambas, Beef Salpicao, and Tangigue Steak (not pictured). The beef was very spicy as well, while the gambas were juicy and flavorful.
I had ordered some Fish Tacos for myself and was really happy with them! This is probably one of the better fish tacos I’ve ever tried anywhere (not that I’ve eaten at a lot of Mexican restaurants, but still). The tacos were soft and warm and generously filled with breaded fish, with finely cut lettuce and tomatoes, plus cheese. I had the sour cream served on the side and that was pretty good too. With 2 pieces of these for lunch I was good to go for the rest of that afternoon!
My colleague was raving about curry flavored instant noodles he had gotten from a friend based in Dubai, and he gave me two packs to try at home. I cooked them for breakfast and served them with steamed broccoli and boiled eggs, and boy were these noodles SPICY! I was able to finish the noodles but not without a box of tissue beside me for my runny nose. They were yummy but just too spicy for me.
Tried Blue Bell ice cream for the first time while working offsite last week, and their Mint Chocolate Chip sure was a yummy way to cool off from the summer heat!